American woman hurt by firework still critical

A 51-year-old American woman who suffered serious stomach injuries during Easter celebrations on Saturday night when a large firecracker was thrown into a church courtyard on the island of Santorini remained in critical condition on Tuesday in the intensive-care unit of a hospital in Iraklio, Crete, but doctors said her condition was improving.

Another six people were injured in the incident on Santorini – three of them left with serious burns, the other three requiring first-aid treatment. Doctors said on Tuesday that the three burns victims had recovered significantly since the attack in connection with which five people have been charged.

The traditional use of fireworks to celebrate Christ’s resurrection also led to the injury of a 25-year-old man in Aitaloacarnania, central Greece, when a firecracker went off in his hands. Another man aged 25, from the Cretan prefecture of Rethymno, was killed when a fellow villager fired gunshots into the air, a local tradition for religious and family occasions on the island.

Police said they confiscated more than half a million fireworks and firecrackers in the force’s pre-Easter crackdown this year, an increase of 260 percent on last year.